Liverpool fan and Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor on meeting Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola at Football Writers' Association awards

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
Dave Challinor picked up a special award at the FWA North West managers’ awards on Sunday – but that wasn’t the highlight of his evening.

Challinor picked up an award following his success with AFC Fylde last season in which he led the side to the FA Trophy and National League play-off final.

But the most memorable part of the evening for the boyhood Liverpool fan was the company he was sat alongside.

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“It was amazing, not only as a Liverpool fan but a football fan, to be sat on a table with Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola just something I never expected,” admitted the Hartlepool United manager.

“They were what you’d expect them to be really, just normal and as a young manager you sort of hang on every word they said.

“We had myself, Ryan Lowe, Graham Alexander and Micky Mellon and all those guys just in awe.

“There was a really good interaction we had between them but from my perspective, it was massively inspirational.

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“We don’t see them every week so we were almost like ‘look it’s Jurgen Klopp!’ It was that sort of thing where you’re like a kid at Christmas which is great but once you’ve had a few beers with them it’s just normal and they were really good!

“I hope it’s not, but it could potentially be a once in a lifetime opportunity so just to be in and around their company and to listen to what they were saying was a really good opportunity to network and talk football with some brilliant people.

“Sometimes, you just sit and watch and see how they act around each other and the charisma that the two of them have.

“Anything you can pick up, whether it’s a bit of advice or just how they put themselves across is really rewarding.”

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“Normally it would just be the Football League teams but we had some special awards for myself, Graham Alexander, Barry Lewtas, who is the Liverpool youth team manager and Nick Cushing from Man City ladies.

“It was a nice award which is pride of place on the mantelpiece at home.”